A few months ago (when LGF was just a twinkle in my eye) I was toying with the idea of starting a health and fitness blog and chatting to a good friend of mine, Clementine, about it. Clemmy mentioned a fabulous blog called The Shrinking Hubby, full of clean, healthy and (most importantly) simple recipe ideas. I’m always on the lookout for new meals to add to my limited repertoire, so as soon as I got off the phone I was onto the internets to check it out.
The more I read, the more intrigued I was. The Shrinking Hubby was created by Alix Toynton after her husband Andrew lost an incredible 60+ kilos. The blog is where she shares their food and lifestyle overhaul, including many of the delicious recipes she’s developed, as well as hints and tips to help others who are trying to lead a cleaner, healthier life. I sat down with her to learn more.
‘Andrew has struggled with his weight since he was a young boy. His memories of his school years are of being overweight and unable to participate fully in most activities’ she says. They met while in high school, but it wasn’t until they met again in their mid-20’s that they started dating. Andrew had lost about 25 kilos since school and was confident and happy, but all the perils of a new relationship (hello food and wine!) meant that he stacked the weight back on – and then some.
By the time Alix and Andrew married in 2004, Andrew weighed over 150kg and they knew that something had to change. Since regular diets weren’t working and Alix had started struggling with her own weight too, they enlisted the help of a professional food coach who – over the course of two years – taught them to embrace clean eating and encouraged them to be creative in the kitchen. They focused on eating for health, rather than weight loss, and Andrew suddenly found himself enjoying foods that he previously thought he couldn’t stand!
Nine years later they’ve fully embraced their new lifestyle and have never felt better. Alix explains that they will always need to be mindful of what they eat to ensure that the weight doesn’t creep back, but she doesn’t believe in deprivation. ‘We are passionate about healthy eating, but we let our hair down from time to time. We never deprive ourselves of food to lose weight, we eat beautiful clean and healthy meals and love working out.‘ Alix and Andrew train five days a week – a mixture of bootcamp sessions, weights and cardio. Eating clean helps them to keep their energy levels up – in fact, she says that eating this way means she’s ‘constantly on a high – annoyingly so!’
With such a loyal group of followers, Alix loves hearing how their story has inspired others (even many they don’t know personally) to embrace clean eating. ‘When people I hardly know come up and tell me how much they love my food it is very rewarding’ she says.
Favourite recipe on the blog?
My Greek inspired shepherd’s pie is definitely our current favourite dinner! Other popular recipes are the pumpkin, coconut and cinnamon soup, healthy nachos and chicken and eggplant bake.
Favourite place to eat out in Sydney? Fine dining – Sushi E or Rockpool Bar and Grill. For more casual I love Garfish in Crows Nest
Favourite form of exercise? I love a CrossFit style circuit!
If you could say one thing to LGF followers about your journey, what would it be?
It’s not about dieting and training to lose weight, rather about eating and exercising to feel really good. The better you feel, the better you will eat and the more energy you’ll want to burn. Stay away from processed foods, sugar and vegetable oils! I think the biggest barrier to anyone’s weight loss journey is sugar… I really think it’s the key to clean eating. And lastly, I cannot emphasise how good a healthy lifestyle makes you feel!
(That’s three things but I’ll let her away with it…)
BUY THE SHRINKING HUBBY’S COOKBOOK HERE.